Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday reacted to the death of longtime conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, saying that he was “irreplaceable.” The decades-long staple of talk radio passed away at the age of 70 on Wednesday after a battle with lung cancer.
Hopping onto Fox News over the phone to offer some words, the former president opened by talking about the controversial move to give Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the 2020 State of the Union, which Trump said was “a great honor.”
“Half the room went crazy” Trump said about when he gave Limbaugh the medal “and the other half of the room, they knew he should get it.”
“But it was special and he was special,” he added.
Asked by Fox News host Bill Hemmer about when he last spoke to Limbaugh, the former commander-in-chief said “three or four days ago.”
“His fight [against cancer] was very, very courageous and he was very, very sick and—from diagnosis on—it was just something that was just not going to be beaten, but you wouldn’t know it,” Trump said.
“He is married to an incredible woman, Kathryn, who really—every time I spoke to him, he would tell me how great she was—she took such great care.”
“He was very brave,” Trump continued. “I mean, he in theory could’ve been gone four months ago. Really, he was fighting till the very end. He was a fighter, he was a great gentleman.”
Hemmer then asked how Trump viewed the way Limbaugh chose to “carry on” his messages and chose to agree or disagree with his policies as president.
Not directly answering the question, Trump referenced Fox News host Sean Hannity, who was on the program before he came on, saying that “Sean would say ‘There is nobody like Rush.'”
The former president also called the late radio host “irreplaceable” and “unique”.
Trump went on to talk about Limbaugh’s show and his hosting style.
“He had an audience that was massive,” Trump said. “And, you know, he could do something […] and he would get up in the show and would just talk—he wouldn’t take phone calls where, you know, people would call in every two minutes and that’s sort of easy to do—he would just talk, for two hours and three hours, just talk. And that’s not an easy thing to do.
“I once asked him and said ‘Do you study for the show?’ and he said ‘Actually, I study very hard,'” Trump continued, joking that the revelation “a little bit surprised me.”
“But he was a fantastic man, fantastic talent, and people—whether they loved him or not—they respected him, they really did,” he said at the closing of his segment.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village
Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.
But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.
Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19
The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.
Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China
The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”
Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World
The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”
In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.
While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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